The BIOMAP Consortium Gathers in Brussels for the 2023 Annual Meeting
On 21-22 September, the BIOMAP consortium gathered for its annual meeting at the beautiful premises of UCB in Brussels, Belgium.
The meeting began with an inspiring welcome from Dhaval Patel, UCB's Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. "There is no competition in how diseases affect people," said Dhaval Patel. He emphasised the importance of BIOMAP research: "You have the data, you have the opportunity to make a difference for people living with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis". After the welcome address, Kymmene Dawson, who lives with severe atopic eczema, gave an honest and brave insight into how the condition affects her life. A huge thank you from the entire BIOMAP team for her willingness to contribute to our meeting and for reminding us all once again why we do research. The morning continued with general updates from the BIOMAP work packages, including reports on bioinformatics and microbiome-related research, as well as from the thematic task forces, which have made great progress since their kick-off at the last annual meeting in October 2022. The afternoon was dedicated to task force roundtable discussions, focusing on key issues, synergies and the development of clear action plans to achieve results. The day was rounded off with a lovely barbecue in the UCB restaurant, where partners enjoyed the delicious food, cheerful atmosphere and informal networking.
The second day of the meeting began with pleasantly warm words from IHI's Scientific Officer Manuel de la Guia Solaz, who congratulated the project team on the progress made so far. He highlighted the smooth communication with the coordination team and the project's efforts in terms of communication, dissemination and publication. He presented the project's lay summaries as a fantastic and informative resource to reach non-scientific stakeholders. The programme continued with a summary and feedback session, which summarised the results of the of the task force round table discussions from the previous day. The last outstanding issues have been clarified and action plans for the coming months have been finalised. This was followed by a sustainability update and presentations on the management/communication and ethics/legal work packages. The meeting ended with a General Assembly.
Once again, this meeting proved that there is a magic to meeting face to face (rather than just virtually) that leads to stimulating discussions, new ideas and a great sense of community. Thanks to everyone involved in BIOMAP for making our meeting such a success. A special thanks to the entire UCB team who did an incredible job hosting us this year, and to our Patient Advisory Board for being such a support and inspiration.